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Visas 'delayed by wrong data'

Manama, August 12, 2008

More than half the estimated nearly 400,000 expatriate workers in Bahrain have not yet been properly registered by their employers.

This is what is causing delays for employers trying to get work visas, says the Labour Market Regulatory Authority.

Companies which pay the monthly training levy according to the invoices sent by the LMRA will not face delays in processing work visas, chief executive Ali Radhi said yesterday.

He said the LMRA had taken a series of measures to cut down the delays in issuing work visas.

This follows a directive by Labour Minister and LMRA chairman Dr Majeed Al Alawi to the LMRA to ease visa rules.

Many employers have complained that they have a hard time adjusting to the procedures laid down by LMRA to issue work visas.

However, Radhi said only those companies which have failed to cleanse the data of their expatriate workers with LMRA and those who have not met the Bahrainisation targets are facing problems.

’Despite repeated appeals, the data of only 40 per cent of expats in Bahrain have been cleansed so far,’ he told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

’Companies were asked to present photocopies of their employees’ passports and CPR cards at the LMRA for cleansing purposes.

’This was to update the data of their employees with LMRA, before we started sending out invoices of BD10 for each expat employee.’

As part of easing the procedures, companies which pay to LMRA as per the invoices need not come for cleansing now, said Radhi.

’Once they pay according to the list available with us, we assume that the data is accurate,’ he added.

’For such companies we shall do the cleansing ourselves hereafter.’

Companies which have not met the Bahrainisation target will also face problems in getting their applications processed, said Radhi.

’Our computers will automatically reject such applications,’ he noted.

’They should either take measures to meet the Bahrainisation target or get a letter from the Labour Ministry confirming their Bahrainisation plans.’

Radhi said companies which complied with all LMRA requirements have got their applications processed and work visas issued within 10 days.

’Sometimes, it is done within seven days. The normal processing time is three days at LMRA, two days for CPR at Central Informatics Organisation (CIO) and five days for residence visa at the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence (GDNPR),’ he added.

From July 1, until last week, the LMRA accepted more than 5,000 applications for new work visas or for renewal of visas, said Mr Radhi.

’We have already issued 1,800 visas, and 800 were rejected for various reasons,’ he revealed.

The remaining applications are under the processing stage.’

Invoices for July have been sent to all companies and this month’s invoices will be sent from August 21.

Companies should pay the fees within one month after receiving the invoices. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: CIO | LMRA | visas | ali radhi | GDNPR |

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